POMONA, Calif. (KABC) -- Christmas is still months away, but already a Grinch has made off with gifts stored in a Pomona Police Department storage container.
"This storage unit is what we use to store donated toys that we use for our Santa Cop program," said Lt. Bryan Rodriguez.
Lt. Rodriguez said the thief or thieves made off with several bikes, Disney toy sets, Legos and other toys. He estimated the value of what was stolen at $7,000.
Police discovered the break-in on Monday, but believe it happened over the weekend. Inside they found that 20% of their toy inventory was missing.
"It's really sad because this is a very great community event that we work hard on with the community. Basically, what it is is every December toys that have been donated throughout the year get donated to needy families."
Police are hoping whoever stole the toys will grow a heart and return them or make a slip up.
"The intent is to get the word out there and try to get the bad guy back where he belongs and get the toys back to the kids," Lt. Rodriguez.
The community is already stepping up and helping to replace some of what was taken.
If you have any information related to this incident, contact the Pomona Police Department at 909-620-2085. If you prefer to provide information anonymously, you may call "Crime Stoppers" at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).
"If you remember just in the movie, at the very end, good will conquers evil and a resilient community like Pomona and our police department's hard-working men and women are going to make it is the best Santa Cop ever. I can guarantee it," said Lt. Rodriguez.
To make a donation to the Pomona Police Department Santa Cop Program, please contact the Community Programs Unit at 909-620-2318.